APC: A New Nigeria, or the Old Nigeria in New Clothes
To understand what the new Nigeria would look like, one only needs to take a quiet glance at the old or present Nigeria. The truth is that…the old Nigeria, which many thought or assumed vanished with the 70s – 90s, is very much alive in present day politics.
At the APC National Summit in Abuja on the 8th of March, 2014, the planet was promised in gold colours to Nigerians. From dreams of utopic grandeur to promises heard a million times over entailing a new Nigeria, dreams of gold and silver were sold to the citizens like bags of rice in famine. The top echelon of the APC were all seated as expected and glanced down on hundreds of reporters and invited guests with eyes filled with…yes..you guessed it…promise.
In a country where everything that can go wrong, has gone wrong, the people are desperate to grasp unto any straw of hope…no matter how scattered in the wind…hope seems these days. The encumbent party, the Peoples Democratic Party, are certainly not doing themselves any favours and with each stride in governmental decision…a blunder is made. From the missing $20 billion which is still unaccounted for, to the rising insurgency in the North which is still unanswered for, the PDP still poses more questions for Nigerians based on why they have been allowed to remain in power.
One young Nigerian interviewed outside the National Assembly says “Nigeria is a growing country run by a school of fish”. Such analogy only points you in the direction of growing Nigerian sentiments. The ongoing Nigerian National Conference which commenced on the 17th of March, 2014 in Abuja consisted of nominees with an average age bracket of 45-50. The word “youth” is used synonymously with age brackets ranging from 20-60 in Nigeria. So when an American journalist heard that a youth conference was being organised back in 2013, his unabashed laughter was understandable.
When the APC speak of a new Nigeria, we are elated on one part and confused on the other. Our elation is automatic – every Nigerian loves the sound of a new Nigeria, merely hearing it generates automatic glee. The confusion stems from the fact that one of the APC’s advocates of the New Nigeria is General Mohammadu Buhari, a kingpin from the old Nigeria. Born in 1942, Buhari became Head of State slightly after his fortieth birthday and thirty years later, continues to be relevant in Nigerian politics at the age of 70. The confusion continues as various defectors from the People’s Democratic Party to the APC, are candidates themed with ghosts of unanswered corruption. The latest being Senator Bukola Saraki and former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar.
While Atiku has vehemently denied any allegations of corruption and Saraki has laughed away same with his “trademark” wave of a hand; Nigerians know better and continue to smile the smile of sheep being led to the slaughter. The simple question of what the APC promises is one which has hung in the air for several months. The answer? Change. However to qualify ‘change’, we must understand that the APC have so far only promised a change of the present ruling personnel and not the status quo that Nigerians are clamouring for. The idea of a new political party leading the old maiden is one that has appealed to Nigerians on all levels. Never in the history of Nigerian democracy has there been such a potent opposition to the PDP. The APC’s agenda is very simple, topple the PDP or at least try. This is an agenda that has seen the current president fly from pillar to post to the Vatican. From trips to the Caliphate to white ribbons and olives in the South South. Each step forward marred by the PDP’s well known ability to drag the nation ten steps backwards.
Last weekend, saw a confused Minister Abba Moro stutter out excuses for one of the most ill planned employment excercises carried out in the 21st century. Over one hundred and fifty thousand young candidates were levied N1,000 and cramped in venues that were below capacity and safety standards leading to allegedly over 5 deaths and several injuries. With no proper explanation or apologies, the PDP’s burgeoning carpet of errors received more dirt. If the PDP had a brand manager, his job description would ensure that he is the highest paid employee on the face of the earth.
Between a rock and a hard place, neither the PDP nor the APC have shown that they can truly guarantee a new Nigeria. While the PDP have shown that they can do all but guarantee it, the APC merely represents Napoleon and his croonies from George Orwell’s “Animal Farm. It seems that the revolution that Nigeria craves will not be handed to its people on a platter. Till 2015…four legs good.